Page:A Jewish State 1917.djvu/51

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of the man of business is just as effectual as if it had originally been carried on by his authority."

And how does all this affect our case?

The Jewish people are at present prevented by the diaspora from undertaking the management of their business for themselves. At the present time they are in a condition of more or less severe distress in many parts of the world. They need, above all things, a gestor.

This gestor cannot, of course, be a single individual. Such a one would either make himself ridiculous, or—seeing that he would appear to be working for his own interests—contemptible.

The gestor of the Jews must therefore be a body corporate.

And that is the Society of Jews.


This medium of the national movement, the nature and functions of which we are at last touching upon, will, in fact, be created before everything else. Its formation is perfectly simple. It will take shape among those energetic Jews to whom I imparted my scheme in London.[1]

The Society of Jews is the point of departure for the whole Jewish movement about to begin.

The Society will have work to do in the domains of science and politics, for the founding of a Jewish State, as I conceive it, presupposes the application of scientific methods. We cannot journey out of Mizraim today in the primitive fashion of ancient times. We shall previously obtain an accurate account of our number and strength. The Society will be the new Moses of the Jews. The undertaking of that great and ancient gestor of the Jews in primitive days bears much the same relation to ours that an old opera bears to a modern one. We are playing the same melody with many more violins, flutes, harps, violoncellos, and bass-viols; with electric light, decorations, choirs, beautiful costumes, and with the first singers of their day.

This pamphlet is intended to open a general discussion on the Jewish Question. Friends and enemies will take part in it; but it will no longer, I hope, take the form of violent abuse or of sentimental vindication, but of a debate, practical, large, earnest and political.

The Society of Jews will gather all available information from statesmen. Parliaments, Jewish communities; from speeches, letters and meetings, newspapers and books.

Thus the Society will find out for the first time whether the Jews really wish to go to the Promised Land, and whether they ought to go there. Every Jewish community in the world will send contributions to the Society towards a comprehensive collection of Jewish statistics.

Further tasks, such as investigation by experts of the new country and its natural resources, planning of joint migration and settlement, preliminary work for legislation and administration, etc., must be judiciously evolved out of the original scheme.

Externally, the Society will attempt, as I explained before in the general part, to be acknowledged as a State-forming power. The free assent of many Jews will confer on it the requisite authority in its relations with Governments.

Internally, that is to say, in its relations with the Jewish people, the Society will create all the first indispensable institutions; it

  1. This refers to certain members of the Maccabacans, an organization which, three months after the publication of this pamphlet, rejected his proposals.